Dollar Tree Boosts Cap-Ex

Dollar Tree Stores plans to boost capital spending in 2011 by at least 20% — to a range of $215 million to $225 million, compared with $178.7 million last year.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Dollar Tree Stores here said Wednesday it plans to boost capital spending in 2011 by at least 20% — to a range of $215 million to $225 million, compared with $178.7 million last year.

Capital projects include 300 new Dollar Tree stores and 75 relocations and expansions; 35 new Deal$ stores; approximately 17 Dollar Giant stores in Canada; expansion of a distribution center in Sylvania, Ga., to one million square feet from 600,000 square feet; and the beginning of a three-year process to replace outdated point-of-sale equipment.

For the fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 30, net income increased 20.4% to $162.5 million, with sales up 10.7% to $1.7 billion and comparable-store sales rising 3.9%. For the year net income climbed 24% to $397.3 million, while sales rose 12.5% to $5.9 billion and comps jumped 6.3%.

Food was one of the top-performing categories last year, Bob Sasser, president and chief executive officer, said during a conference call with analysts. He said Dollar Tree has installed freezers and coolers at 1,844 of its 4,101 stores, with plans to install them in at least 225 more stores this year, compared with 421 installations in 2010.